UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center



Document Type



Child Psychology | Criminology | Juvenile Law | Mental and Social Health | Pediatrics | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between a history of childhood abuse and mental health problems in juveniles who sexually offended (JSOs) over and above general offending behavior.

METHODS: A sample of 44 JSOs incarcerated in two juvenile detention centers in the Netherlands between May 2008 and March 2014 were examined for childhood abuse history (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form) and mental health problems (Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Version 2). Furthermore, the connection between childhood abuse and mental health problems in JSOs was compared to a sample of 44 propensity score matched juveniles who offended non-sexually (non-JSOs).

RESULTS: In JSOs, sexual abuse was related to anger problems, suicidal ideation, and thought disturbance. These associations were significantly stronger in JSOs than in non-JSOs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the relationship between childhood abuse and both internalizing and externalizing mental health problems is of more salience for understanding sexual offending than non-sexual offending, and should, therefore, be an important focus in the assessment and treatment of JSOs.

Rights and Permissions

© The Author(s). Citation: Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2016 Nov 1;10:45. eCollection 2016. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


Childhood sexual abuse, MAYSI-2, Mental health problems, Sexual offending juveniles

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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